Bittersweet, but It was So Very Real
January 15, 2023
by Dr. Plastic Picker
It’s at an end. It’s at an absolute end, and it’s for the best of everyone involved. It started with a cute boy, then a dress and the heels. And it ends with the dress and the heels. The dress will be worn again, as there are actually two size iterations and two pairs of matching heels. And there is a little 14-year-old girl who had her pride and heart dented. It was so confusing and complex, but in the end it was all very real. And what emerged was a still very young and innocent 14-year-old girl who would rather dream of boys in books, and a pediatrician mother who realizes how absolutely amazing and mature and loving this 14-year-old is. There is so much affection and awesomeness in this person, that it’s hard to not want to share how awesome this person is.
For me there was absolute closure last night, because at some point you know when things are not productive. It’s been healing to be at a place in my life when I realize I don’t need to understand everything, and I don’t have the right to pry. And most importantly I know it’s not my place to judge circumstance, and I don’t need to question intentions. My job is to save the earth, and raise my awesome human being.
And that’s what I did last night. I asked her to take a risk, and to be a kind person and try to be friends. And it was so absolutely hard for her to agree to that. She spent time making something special and was willing to share it, and it didn’t work out and the gift left ungiven. She was confused. And she was honestly hurt again. And the greatest two hurts in her life, I inflicted by being open to new connections and now experiences and wanting those for her.
But the rain that likely contributed to gifts being left ungiven has stopped this morning. Mr. Plastic Picker, her father is up working in his home-office to earn extra money as that is how he loves his daughter. He loves her so much, as do her grandparents and her brother and as do I. And she’s asleep after talking to me late into the night, about her dreams and how somewhere out there – there is an awesome boy who will be her partner in life, but that we don’t know what that boy looks like or who that boy is. We just know that he’s awesome like her.
That things did not work out is okay. Because I seek not to judge, and to make sure I guide my own child through these tough years – I have the freedom to remember and to thank. I’ve since deleted all the images and emails and text messages, because it’s somewhat painful for me too. But I will remember the humor, the writing, the mutual exchange of anecdotes. I will remember a lovely family that I do not understand fully despite so many commonalities, and a family that will go forward and continue to make the world a better place. But mostly I will remember our narrative which is the dress and the heels and the moments my daughter and I dreamed together.
I love you so much. And I actually continue to love the other family and son, as they are beautiful people but just not the right people. Climate work has given me that. To realize I don’t have the answer and that all of us understand the world incompletely, and only have glimpses into the heart of others – no matter how many emails were exchanged.
It’s an unexpected and abrupt end, that I initiated. I wanted to give her closure but it was not the closure I imagined. But it’s closure. And there is a beautiful world out there, and the next half of being 14.